Time + Space

A Possible Structure for a New Language

Pierre Pastel. A Possible Structure for a New Language (2016), D-print, 18 x12 cm 

Pierre Pastel. A Possible Structure for a New Language (2016), D-print, 18 x12 cm 


The concept of participatory artwork dates back to the early 1920’s when Marcel Duchamp presented an optical illusion titled Rotary Glass Plates. The installation required viewers to press a button and stand back to experience the hallucinating creation. It was this exhibition and the political upheaval of the 60’s and 70’s that inspired artists to represent themselves outside the historically appointed institutions of art museums, and work within alternative landscapes that call for public interaction.

A Possible Structure for a New Language, embodies the paradoxical implications of exploring what is and therefore discovering what is not. This 180 sq/ft magnetic installation constructed by artist Esteban Patino (Colombian Born. 1980) acts as a testament for the deconstruction of tradition and embellishes the playful misunderstanding. In other words, it’s ultimate value lies within the voms of the people materializing its function and forming their own instinctual narratives.

If we think of ourselves as explorers, rather than static figures of resistance, then the uncomfortable landscape we normally repudiate, becomes an opportunity for holistic growth.


John Berger famously wrote that, “The more imaginative the work, the more profoundly it allows us to share the artist’s experience of the visible.” This declaration made by the late art critic relates to an uncanny responsibility of the artist to transform the world from which the public reside; in an effort to revitalize the stark environments of contemporary art in public arenas.

These co-creative projects represent the language of the people and invite youthful exploration, social stability, public critique, gathering zones, and cultural circulation that sustain cities and communities globally. If we think of ourselves as explorers, rather than static figures of resistance, then the uncomfortable landscape we normally repudiate, becomes an opportunity for holistic growth.

Public art works speak volumes about a city’s ethos, vision, and global identity. Recent studies show that the average art donation in New York is $22 to public art projects, while Atlantans donate a mere $2. Granted, New York is one of the birth cities for conceptual art, but that doesn’t quantify the overarching reason for lack of local funding and community involvement. Interactive art is a proposition towards building a relationship with the viewer, sometimes the connective tissue of the work relies on the participation of an audience.

Working with minimal materials and encompassing alternative spaces with cultural relevance are important factors: offices, public parks, train stations, coffee shops, abandoned buildings, universities, earth environments, community atriums, restaurants, retail stores, etc. These locations provide foundation for the physical makeup of the piece, which fundamentally translates into the fusion of participatory creation and human communication.


REFRACTION! Acts as a quarterly rotating installation project that seeks to highlight emerging contemporary artists who draw on the vocabulary of surrealism, anti-orthodoxy, and the invisible performative process. This series is produced by The Elevator Factory and curated by Time + Space. We would like to thank Esteban Patino for his participation and we look forward to announcing our next artist in March 2017.